After more than a decade without a basketball club in Merthyr Tydfil, the town is now home to the Merthyr Mustangs!
With a junior section catering for 7 to 16 year-olds as well as a senior team, the Mustangs have been created to meet rising local demand for basketball.
Sport Wales has supported the club’s development so far by awarding a £13,482 Be Active Wales grant – which uses funding from The National Lottery – to pay for new hoops which are being used by the Mustangs’ senior team.
Volunteer Simon Thornley – who played for the former Merthyr Basketball Club before they folded around 14 years ago – is the driving force behind the new club, which has received support from Sport Wales and Active Merthyr Tydfil.
Simon said: “Basketball gave me lots of fantastic experiences growing up, so I really wanted to provide similar opportunities for the youngsters of today as well as giving adults a chance to play the sport competitively in Merthyr again.
“The response so far from both the kids and adults has shown how important it is to have basketball back in the town. Having both a junior section and an adult team is really important as it means there’s a pathway for young players to continue in the sport as they get older.
“We are also working in collaboration with Merthyr College to train students to become coaches, referees, and officials. This way, the club can become more sustainable, provide lots of opportunities both on and off the court, and help more members of the local community to have the chance to fall in love with basketball. We’re also planning to introduce a women’s team this year.”